10 Great Dive Watches Under $1,000 Just in Time for Summer

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For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to put our leather straps away and go play—hopefully in the water. No watch says Summer better than a dive watch, and they go with everything from a seer-sucker suit and sock-less loafers to swim trunks and shades. We’ve rounded up ten divers, all costing less than $1,000, all ready to go everywhere you go and do everything you do during the sweltering months ahead.

Seiko “Mini Turtle”

Scaled down to 42.3 millimeters and gently redesigned, these SRPC references have been warmly dubbed “Mini Turtles” due to their resemblance to the larger Seiko Turtles. When a Seiko gets a nickname, you know it’s a hit. With 200 meters of water resistance, a hacking and hand-winding 4R35 movement with over 40 hours power reserve, and a Rolex-y date window magnifier, the Mini Turtle puts a new twist on that classic Seiko diver style.

$360

Mk II Paradive

Take away everything but the bare essentials, balance the remaining elements in near perfect proportions, and then cut one of the sharpest bead-blasted cases on the market, and you get the MK II Paradive (read our review here). A tribute to the 1970s Benrus Type 1, the Paradive measures large at 44.5 millimeters wide and 15.54 thick, but it wears much smaller. 200 meters of water resistance and an auto-winding Seiko NE15 mechanical movement beg for summer fun—and abuse.

$895

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Lorier Neptune

Care for something a little smaller? The 39-millimeter Lorier Neptune combines familiar vintage cues with top-tier specs like 200 meters of water resistance, a super-dome plexiglass crystal, the hearty Seiko NH35A automatic movement, and a stainless steel bracelet—all for a price that causes these beauties to sell out on a regular basis. The Neptune is available in three classic colorways.

$389

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto

SCUBA may not be the first thing you think of when you ponder Hamilton watches, but their Khaki Navy Scuba is a classy 40-millimeter diver that’ll stay dry to 100 meters and keep running for a whopping 80 hours after a full wind. The Khaki Navy Scuba is offered in black, blue, and orange colorways on either a rubber strap, a mil-strap, or steel bracelet, making this a handsome summer staple.

$695

Mido Ocean Star Automatic

The Mido Ocean Star (review here) is a thoroughbred dive watch built from titanium, which keeps this 42.5 millimeter submariner light on the wrist. At only 11.75 millimeters thick, it’s sleek, too. The proprietary rubber strap hugs the case just like the steel bracelet does, and both the rubber and steel inspire confidence and panache.

Starting at $890

Seiko SPB077/SPB079

2018 marks the second year in a row that Seiko has released a trio of dive watches reissues—one is a faithful limited edition, and the other two get modern visual and performance updates. The SPB077 and 079 are this year’s two updated models, both based on the highly collectible Ref. 6159 from 1969. Modern sizing is at 44 millimeters across and 13.1 thick, and you’ll get 200 meters of water resistance, coated steel for extra hardness, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the venerable 6R15 auto-winding movement, and—most importantly—that classic Seiko dive watch style.

Starting at $850

Certina DS PH200m

Though slightly wider than its predecessor at 42.8 millimeters, this classy diver is a faithful reproduction of a late 1960s issue from Switzerland’s Certina. Sporting an era-correct acrylic crystal, the watch still obtains 200 meters of water resistance, and the Powermatic 80 movement (a modified ETA 2824) assures 80-hours of power reserve and spectacular accuracy. If the lazy days of summer feel nostalgic, perhaps this is the dive watch for you.

$780

Dan Henry 40mm 1970 Diver

If you can’t hang with Dan himself, a joyfully obsessed and deeply knowledgeable collector, then you will have to settle for one of his excellent and affordable watches. The 40-millimeter 1970 offers specs that truly transcend its price: a Seiko NH35 automatic movement, an internal rotating bezel modeled after some classic “Super Compressor” designs, a double domed sapphire-coated mineral crystal, and a solid case back with an octopus wearing an old-school diving helmet that’s engraved so deeply it’s practically a sculpture.

$250

Nezumi Baleine Diver

Not all dive watch cases are created equal, and the Nezumi Baleine Diver’s (review here) 40-millimeter case may be its most compelling feature with brushed and polished surfaces (on the stainless steel model), twisting lugs, and a beautifully machined screwed-in case back featuring the Swedish brand’s hexagonal logo. Up top is a double domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating arced over a black dial with beige lume and polished gold hands, all surrounded by a handsome 60-click unidirectional bezel. The summer sun will bring all that golden warmth to life, while the 200-meter rating will keep it bone dry when you cool off with a dip or a dive.

$500

Victorinox INOX Professional Diver

Quartz? Yes, because until recently no mechanical movement could withstand being run over by a tank—let alone the other 99 stress tests to which Victorinox subjects its INOX line of watches. The shapely 45-millimeter case exudes durability, while the scalloped steel bezel, sporty colorways, bright rubber straps and, on some models, fire engine red seconds hand unabashedly announce this diver’s readiness for—quite literally—anything you throw at it.

$695

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At age 7 Allen fell in love with a Timex boy's dive watch his parents gave him, and he's taken comfort in wearing a watch ever since. Allen is especially curious about digital technology having inspired a revival of analog technology, long-lasting handmade goods, and classic fashion. He lives in a one-room schoolhouse in The Hudson Valley with his partner and two orange cats.
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